Why gender and pay equity matter
4 July 2014

Why gender and pay equity matter

Under the federal Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, Benetas is required to report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency annually on a set of six gender equality indicators:

1. Gender composition of the workforce
2. Gender composition of governing bodies
3. Equal remuneration between women and men
4. Availability and utility of employment terms, conditions, practices relating to flexible working arrangements and to working arrangements supporting employees with family or caring responsibilities.
5. Consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace.
6. Any other matter specified by the relevant Minister in a legislative instrument.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills recently made public her commitment to achieving compliance and gender equality in the workplace:

“Together with the Benetas Board of Directors and the Executive Management Committee, Benetas is committed to gaining compliance and promoting and improving gender equality for both women and men, while recognising the historically disadvantaged position of women in the workplace.

Benetas workforce comprises of 1400 staff and 430 volunteers therefore it’s a requirement that we publicly report on gender equality. As well as achieving compliance, Benetas is committed to becoming a leading employer for practices that support gender equality in applying to the Gender Equality Agency for the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation.

Gender equality is critical to an organisation’s success, and it’s critical to Benetas as an employer of choice. Research from the Gender Equality Agency shows that groups with diverse perspectives and flexibility in thinking almost always outperform homogenous groups, leading to higher levels of creativity, innovation and organisational agility.

We recognise the importance of gender equality in improving our business performance.This focus enables us to attract and retain the best talent but also facilitates a better understanding of how to appeal to both genders as customers and what services women and men want. It’s the right of all Australians to have equal participation in the workplace. Gender equality ensures all employees have access to equal opportunities in developing their careers free from bias.

General Manager People Development Ellen Flint adds:

“I support the work of our HR Manager Attraction and Retention in working with the Gender Equality Agency's Reporting team to understand more about how we can utilise the range of innovative tools and resources available to us to maximise the full potential of our female and male talent and increase gender diversity in the workplace.

While Benetas has a good gender balance across management, we face other gender balance issues as a predominately female workplace. We offer and provide to all staff family friendly work practices and support the advancement of both genders in non traditional roles. We are actively supporting the development of women in non traditional roles such as IT, Finance, Property and Project Management.

We are also actively supporting the development of men in non traditional roles such as Nursing, Domestic and Personal Care roles. Our recruitment advertising and Industry partnerships with organisations such as Leading Aged Care Services Australia (LASA) and Box Hill Institute support these initiatives.

Almost 90% of the 1400 staff at Benetas are covered by Enterprise Bargaining Agreements that offer pay and other terms and conditions that are over and above the minimums provided under the relevant Modern Awards. In order to ensure fairness, transparency and pay equity, only in extraordinary circumstances are team members paid outside of these arrangements.”

Benetas’ commitment to staff in addressing gender pay equity is specifically communicated to all staff in the Benetas Remuneration Policy, which is endorsed by the CEO.

“Managers may use their judgement in forming recommendations in the yearly salary review as to where a person’s remuneration should fall within their job size band. Managers should take into account length and extent of experience, skill level, gender pay equity, performance considerations," said Ms Flint.